How to sell your home privately


Make your home sellable

Whether selling property privately or through an agent, a well-maintained, de-cluttered home will stand out from other properties for sale and create a better impression on buyers. Tend to any repairs and maintenance issues like leaky taps, faulty switches and broken windows. Homes that are well presented and well maintained typically sell faster than those that are not.

Determine the correct selling price for your property

Pricing your home correctly is crucial when putting your property on the market. A property that is badly priced will take longer to sell than one that offers fair market value. You would need to do your research on asking prices and get to know the local market.

Here are some of the factors that need to be taken into consideration before putting a price tag on a home.

  1. Location is basically everything in real estate.Selling a property in a sought-after area is automatically going to boost the price. This of course, doesn’t mean that a run-down home is going to sell for millions more, it simply means you’ll get more for the property than if it was situated in a less popular area. Likewise, even if a beautiful home is situated in a top suburb, the fact that it is situated on a busy road may affect its value.
  2. Trying to sell something that bucks the trend may also affect the selling price.These are generally architecturally designed homes that, well to put it bluntly, are just odd looking. No matter how beautiful the seller may believe his home is, buyers may not have the same taste and will overlook the more outrageous properties on the market thereby forcing the seller to eventually lower his price in order to make the home appear more attractive.
  3. Well-maintained older homes are beautiful and are popular with those looking for features such as Oregon pine flooring and stained glass doors. However, older homes that have been left ‘as is’ aren’t generally going to sell for a good price. Buyers look for comfort and convenience when they are buying. Paying a couple of million for a home knowing that you are going to have to renovate the kitchen or bathrooms (which were last renovated in the 70s) isn’t going to appeal to most. That said, it’s also important to remember that undertaking dramatic improvements won’t necessarily mean that the seller is going to recoup the outlay when he sells. For this reason, it is far wiser to ensure that the home is periodically updated and that the fittings generally fit in with current trends and do not reflect something that was in vogue 20-odd years ago.
  4. Another aspect that plays a crucial role in pricing a property is perception.Is the property situated in an area that has, in the past, experienced high levels of crime? This is a delicate topic in South Africa because crime is so widespread. However, some areas do appear to be more affected than others and this is probably going to influence the eventual selling price.
  5. The size of the home.Again this may vary from area to area, but not everyone is looking to invest in a mansion. Size most certainly isn’t everything and buyers aren’t necessarily going to blown away by an oversized home. Sure they want to live in comfort, but this doesn’t mean that they will pay more for a five-bedroom home than they would if the property only had three. The one thing that does impact a buying decision is the number of bathrooms available. Most homes these days boast two bathrooms, however, many older homes don’t and the occupants have to contend with queuing to use the loo.
  6. Probably the most important element in all of this is the wow factor.Homes that stand head and shoulders above the crowd are generally very well-maintained. They are beautiful decorated, have exquisite gardens and, well, if truth be told, put the neighbouring houses to shame. Just because the home has been designed in a similar mode to others around it, doesn’t mean that the seller won’t be able to sell for a higher price. We don’t have any evidence to back this up, but are willing to bet that a home that shows that its been loved will sell quicker and for a higher price than one that isn’t.

Choose a conveyancing attorney

As the seller, you will need to choose a conveyancing attorney to handle the legal work to transfer ownership of the property. Attorneys will be able to supply you with the relevant paperwork like an offer to purchase, and with any legal advice that you may require.

Accepting an offer

Interested buyers will send through an offer to purchase. Your conveyancing attorney will supply you with the offer to purchase document which includes the property description, the purchase price, occupational rent amount and occupation date, special conditions and any other relevant information. If you wish to accept the offer and sign it, then it becomes a legally binding contract and can be submitted to your conveyancing attorney.

Property Transfer

Your conveyancing attorney will receive the signed offer to purchase, complete a number of tasks, liaise with various parties and lodge the sale documents at the Deeds office. This process can take up to 3 months after which the property will be transferred from your name to the buyers and the conveyancing attorney will ensure you receive the proceeds of the sale.

For more information on this or any other legal related queries please contact us at or 033 392 8000


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